The Motorcycle Diaries

by

Ernesto Che Guevara

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Chichina is Ernesto’s girlfriend at the outset of the narrative, although by the end they have parted ways. Like Ernesto, she comes from an upper-middle class family. Unlike Ernesto, she is fully committed to a bourgeois lifestyle. Reluctant to see Ernesto leave on such a long, uncharted trip, she wants him to return to Argentina, finish his studies, and begin a conventional life with her. For Ernesto, Chichina represents the comfort and appeal of this conventional life; he finds it hard to tear himself away when he visits her, and he describes her as having an almost narcotic allure. However, Chichina also shows the tendency of bourgeois life to leave Ernesto unfulfilled. Ernesto never quite takes her seriously and finds it easy to make fun of her with Alberto. When she eventually breaks up with him via letter, he discovers he actually feels nothing for her. Ultimately, Chichina is important to the narrative because she helps Ernesto clarify the direction he doesn’t want his life to take.

Chichina Quotes in The Motorcycle Diaries

The The Motorcycle Diaries quotes below are all either spoken by Chichina or refer to Chichina. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ocean Press edition of The Motorcycle Diaries published in 2003.
Chapter 4 Quotes

I remember the day my friend the sea came to my defense…The beach was deserted and a cold onshore wind was blowing. My head rested in the lap tying me to this land, lulled by everything around. The entire universe drifted rhythmically by, obeying the impulses of my inner voice…And then, for the last time, I heard the ocean’s warning.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Chichina
Related Symbols: Chichina and “Comeback”
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

A feeling of profound unease came over me; I felt that I was incapable of feeling anything. I began to feel afraid for myself and started a tearful letter, but I couldn't write, it was hopeless to try. In the half-light that surrounded us, phantoms swirled around and around but "she" wouldn't appear. I still believed I loved her until this moment, when I realized I felt nothing.

Related Characters: Ernesto Guevara (speaker), Chichina
Related Symbols: Chichina and “Comeback”
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chichina Character Timeline in The Motorcycle Diaries

The timeline below shows where the character Chichina appears in The Motorcycle Diaries. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. El Descubrimiento del Océano (Discovery of the Ocean)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Ernesto explains that he is bringing a dog, named Comeback, to his girlfriend, Chichina. He describes Comeback as a “symbol and a survivor.” Comeback is a symbol in that... (full context)
4. Paréntesis Amoroso (Lovesick Pause)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Ernesto arrives in Miramar, where Chichina is spending the summer with her family in a luxurious summer house. The beauty of... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Resting drowsily on the beach with his head in Chichina’s lap, Ernesto observes the formidable presence of the ocean and interprets it as a voice... (full context)
Growing Up Theme Icon
Chichina makes a big fuss over his departure, which Ernesto appreciates but only takes somewhat seriously.... (full context)
9. Querida Vieja (Dear Mama)
Growing Up Theme Icon
At the end of the letter he mentions he’s enclosed another page for Chichina. However, he doesn’t show the reader this part of the letter. (full context)
11. Y Ya Siento Flotar Mi Gran Raíz Libre y Desnuda… (And Now, I Feel my Great Roots Unearth, Free and…)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
...in a village police station crowded with other itinerants when Ernesto receives a letter from Chichina. He doesn’t tell the reader what the letter says, but it’s clear that she is... (full context)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
Although he at first articulates a strong sense of his emotional dependence on Chichina, Ernesto reconsiders this while trying to write a response to her letter. Upon examining his... (full context)
38. Ucayali Abajo (Down the Ucayali)
Class Consciousness Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Ideology Theme Icon
...as a “careless caress,” with an “easy” girl on the boat. Afterward, he thinks of Chichina and imagines that she is probably in her familiar home entertaining “some new suitor.” However,... (full context)